- 3 de-boned, skinless (The VianD like to leave some attached, just for flavoring) Chicken thighs cutlet (slightly under 1-inch size, what is presented here is a little too big). Marinate with Light soy, Shaoxing Wine, Sesame oil, Oyster sauce, Corn-starch and finely grounded White pepper. Mix well and marinate for a at-least an hr or longer for better flavors.
- Raw peanuts (or U can just buy the roasted ones, if U do and if there r salted, adjust ur seasoning accordingly). Finely chopped Garlic and Ginger. Dried Chili (de-seed) and coarsely smashed Black peppercorn (Sichuan peppercorn would be better). Optional – Roughly diced Onion, Scallion and Green Pepper (Capsicum).
- Salt, Sugar, Dark Vinegar, Shaoxing wine, Light soy, Chili powder and a dash of Sesame oil. A little water. Mix well. Optional – And separately, a tiny bit of starch-mixture as thickening agent and a dash of Dark soy for coloring. All to taste. ** Note : Just dash/pinch of everything, if U prefer a stronger intensity of an ingredient flavor, simply add a little extra of that ingredient/spice (no rocket scientific measurement here). Always taste your Seasoning !!!
Start by marinating the Chicken cutlets. Set aside to marinate for at least an hr or longer for better flavors.
Meanwhile. start roasting the peanuts on low heat till aromatic and golden reddish brown – abt 5-10 mins, depending on the heat and amount of peanuts. Set aside. U can get rid of the skin (testa) if U like but The VainD like to keep them on, just for color layering.
Saute the Dried Chilies and Black peppercorn till aromatic on medium heat. Add diced Onion, Garlic and Ginger and continue to saute till aromatic. Move the mixture aside and add Chicken, spread them out and let them sit for a min or so, before turning them. When the Chicken turned whitish, turn up the heat and mix everything well and saute till aromatic. Turn heat down to medium, add the sauce, bit by bit to ur preference consistency (if U like, add the cornstarch mixture at this juncture). Crank up the heat again, add roasted Peanuts, diced Capsicum and Scallion. Give it a few quick stirs, making sure everything is well-coated by the sauce. Viola, ur plate of Sichuan “Kung Pao Chicken (宫保鸡丁)” is ready to be served hot.